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Chapter

1 REFLECTION OF LIGHT
 Light
 Nature of light and propagation
 Object “Science… means unresting endeavour
and continually progressing development
 Image toward an aim which the poetic intuition
 Pin hole camera may apprehend, but the intellect can never
fully grasp”.
 Reflection of Light – Max Plank
 Reflection of light on a Plane Surface
 Reflection of light at curved Surfaces
Introduction :
Seeing is one of the most common things we do. When we enter into a darkroom, the
objects inside are not visible. If some light is allowed to enter the room the objects inside
become visible or can be seen clearly. Why?

When this light falls on the objects in the room, it bounces off from the surface of objects.
When this scattered or reflected light enters our eyes and falls on the retina, we have the
sensation of vision. Thus light gives us the sensation of vision.

Light :
Light enables us to see objects from which it comes or from which it is reflected. We can
see the luminous objects due to the light emitted by them. When light falls on non-
luminous object, they reflect light towards us. And when this reflected light enters our eyes
then we are able to see the non-luminous objects.

Rectilinear propagation of light :


One of the important properties of light is that it travels in straight
lines from one place to other. This property is called the rectilinear
propagation of light. The fact that a small source of light casts a
sharp shadow of an opaque object tells us that light travels in a
straight line.

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Nature of light and propagation :


Any theory of light proposed to explain the
nature of light should account for the properties
of light. The various theories of light are :
1. Newton’s corpuscular theory
2. Huygens’s wave theory
3. Maxwell’s electromagnetic wave theory
4. Planck’s quantum theory.

Newton’s corpuscular theory of light:


In the seventeenth century Newton enunciated corpuscular theory of light. According to
this theory, light consists of tiny particles called corpuscles. According to this theory:
• A source of light emits tiny particles called corpuscles in all directions.
• Different colours of light are due to different in the sizes of corpuscles.
• The corpuscles travel in straight lines in all directions with great speed when no
force acts. This explains the law of rectilinear propagation of light.
• The mechanical action of the corpuscles on the retina causes the sensation of light.
• When the corpuscles approach close to the surface of a material medium, the path
of the corpuscles is modified.
• Reflection of light is due to the force of repulsion applied by the particles of the
denser medium on the corpuscles.
• Refraction of light is due to the force of attraction by the particles of the denser
medium on the corpuscles.

Failures of the corpuscular theory:


• Partial reflection and refraction of
light is explained by assuming that
some of the particles of the denser
medium are in a ‘fit of repulsion’ and
others are in a “fit of attraction’ so
that reflection and refraction both are
produced simultaneously. This is not
explained. t

• According to corpuscular theory, when light is refracted due to force of attraction the
velocity of light in denser medium must be greater than the velocity in rarer medium.
But Foucault’s rotating mirror experiment proved that velocity of light in denser
medium is less than the velocity of light in rarer medium.

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• When a source of light emits corpuscles, in due course of time the mass of the
source of light should decrease which is not true experimentally.
• If light is incident on a transparent material like glass or water, some part of light is
reflected and some part of light is refracted. This simultaneous phenomenon of
reflection and refraction cannot be explained on the basis of corpuscular theory.
• According to Newton different colors of light are due to the different sizes and
masses of the particles. But this fact was not experimentally proved.
• Several phenomena of light such as double refraction, interference, diffraction and
polarization of light cannot be explained on the basis of corpuscular theory.

Huygens’s wave theory:

In seventeenth century a Dutch physicist Christiaan Huygens, proposed wave theory of


light.
• According to this theory light consists of waves.
• This theory assumed that light travels through a very dilute, highly elastic and
universally pervading material medium called “ether”.
• Different colours of light are due to difference in the wavelengths of light.
• The velocity of light in denser medium is less than that in the rarer medium.
• This theory could successfully explain phenomena like reflection, refraction,
diffraction, interference.

Limitations :
• It cannot explain the phenomena like polarization, photo electric effect, Compton
effect, black body radiation.
• According to this theory light is a longitudinal mechanical wave but later it was
proved that is a transverse electromagnetic wave.
• Ether medium was never discovered and the existence of ether medium is ruled
out.

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Electromagnetic wave theory:


J.C.Maxwell proposed that light is propagated in the form of
electromagnetic waves. This theory is known as Maxwell’s
electromagnetic wave theory of light.

Electromagnetic waves are generated by accelerated charges. An


accelerated charge produces sinusoidal time varying electric field
which is associated with sinusoidal time varying magnetic field. The
two fields are mutually perpendicular to each other and each varying
field is producing the other. Thus they give rise to an electromagnetic
wave.

Quantum theory: Quantum theory assumes light to be consisting of packets of energy


hc
called photons. The energy of each photon is given by = υ
E h= where
λ
h – Planck’s constant
υ – Frequency
c – Velocity of light in vacuum
λ – Wavelength of light

In the above expression each photon has a wavelength associated with it. Thus, quantum
theory combines the particle and wave natures.

Ray of Light: The path along which the light energy travels in a given Ray of light
direction is called ray of light. It is represented by a straight line. The
arrow head shows the direction in which light energy travels.

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Beam of Light: A collection of a large number of rays of light is


called beam of light.
Eg: the rays of sun entering a room through an open window
constitute a parallel beam of light. Parallel beam of lgiht

Divergent beam of Light: When the rays of light starting


from a point travel in various directions, then the collection
of such rays is called divergent beam of light.

Eg: The rays coming out from a bulb or a burning candle or


a car head light.
Divergent beam of light

Convergent beam of Light: When the rays of


light coming from different directions meet at a
point, then such a collection of rays is called a
convergent beam of light.
Eg: If a parallel beam is made to pass through
convergent beam
a convex lens, then it meets at a point. This
Parallel beam
kind of collection of rays is called convergent
beam of light.

Object :
Anything which gives out light rays (either its own or reflected by it)is called an object. A
bulb, a candle, a pin head, a tree, etc., are all examples of light. From the point of view of
study of light, the objects are of two types.
1. Point objects or very small objects.
2. Extended objects or very large objects.

In drawing the ray diagrams for the formation of images, the point objects are represented
by a dot(.) and the extended objects by an arrow pointing upwards( ↑ ).

Real object and virtual object :


When light falling on a point actually diverges from that point, the point is considered to be
a real point. If the light falling on a point appears to converge to that point then that point is
said to be a virtual point for a mirror (or a lens).

Ordinary sources of light are real objects, like a lighted candle, a sodium vapour lamp, etc.
When converging light falls on a convex mirror or concave lens a real image is obtained
and the corresponding object is virtual.

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Image :
It is an optical appearance produced or replica of the object formed when light rays coming
from an object are reflected from a mirror or refracted through a lens. When we look into a
mirror, we see the image of our face in it. Here, our face is the object and what we see in
the mirror is the image. An image is formed when the light rays coming from an object
actually meet or appear to meet at a point after reflection from a mirror or refraction
through a lens. The images are of two types.
1. Real image
2. Virtual image

Real Image :
The image which can be obtained on a screen is called real image. A real image is formed
when light rays coming from an object actually meet after reflection from a mirror or
refraction through a lens. A real image can be caught on a screen because light rays
actually pass through it. A real image can be touched. Real images can be formed by a
concave mirror and a convex lens. For example, the images formed on a cinema screen
are real images.

Virtual Image :
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The image which cannot be caught on a screen is called a virtual image. A virtual image
can be seen only by looking into a mirror or a lens. A virtual image is formed when light
rays coming from an object appear to meet at a point when produced backwards after
reflection from a mirror or refraction through a lens. A virtual image cannot be caught on a
screen because light rays do not actually pass through it. A virtual image is just an illusion
and is also called unreal image. Since the virtual images are due to imaginary rays, no
light ever reaches a virtual image. A plane mirror and a convex mirror always form virtual
image. A concave mirror forms a virtual image only when the object is kept within the
focus.

Differences between real and virtual images :


Real Images Virtual Images or Unreal images
They can be obtained on a screen They can’t be obtained on a screen
Ex: Image formed on a cinema screen Ex: Image formed by a plane mirror
They are formed when light rays coming There are formed when light rays appear to
from an object actually meet at a point after meet at a point after reflection.
reflection from a mirror (or refraction
through a lens).
They are formed by concave mirrors and They can be formed by convex mirrors,
concave lens concave mirrors (when object is placed
between ‘F’ & P) and plane mirrors as well a
concave lens convex lens (when object is in
between ‘F’ & P).

Pin hole camera :

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• Pin hole camera is based on the rectilinear propagation of light


• It is believed to be an Arabian invention of the eleventh century
• It was used to view solar eclipses without causing damage to the eyes.
• It consists of a box with a small hole in a metal plate at one end.
• It has a screen of tracing paper or frosted glass at the other end.
• If the camera is pointed towards an object an inverted, diminished and real image of
the object is formed on the screen
• From the fig, light rays from the top travel in a straight line and fall at A1 on the
screen.
• If the camera is pointed towards an object an inverted, diminished and real image of
the object is formed on the screen
• From the figure light rays from the top (A) travel in a straight line and fall at A1 on
the screen.
• Similarly, light rays from the bottom (B) travel in a straight line and fall at B1 on the
screen
• If the screen is replaced by a photographic film, a photograph of the object can be
taken.
• If the hole is larger than a pin hole. (The light rays coming from different points of
the object fall at different points on the screen and thus) we get a blurred image.
• By increasing the number of holes, number of images can be increased.
Reflection of Light :
The phenomenon by virtue of which, incident light energy
is partly or completely sent back into the same medium
from which it is coming after being obstructed by a
surface is called reflection. The surface which reflects
most of the light falling on it is called reflecting surface.

Most of the objects reflect light which falls on them. Some


objects reflect more light where as the other objects
reflect less light. The objects having shining surfaces
reflect more light than those having unpolished, dull
surfaces. Silver metal is one of the best reflectors of light.

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Laws of Reflection :

The phenomenon of reflection is governed by following two laws.

1. The incident ray, the reflected ray and the normal to the reflecting surface at the
point of incidence, all lie in one plane which is perpendicular to the reflecting
surface.

2. The angle of incidence is equal to the angle of reflection ∠i =∠r


Note:
• The laws of reflection are valid for any reflecting surface irrespective of geometry.
• They are useful in finding the nature and position of the images formed by various
types of mirrors

Fermat’s principle :
Light follows the path of least time. The law of reflection can be derived from this principle
as follows:

The path length L from A to B is

Since the speed is constant, the minimum


time path is simply the minimum distance
path. This may be found by setting the
derivative of L with respect to x equal to
zero.

Verification of I law of reflection :


I law of reflection:
The angle of incidence is always equal to the angle of reflection
i= r

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Material required
Drawing board
White paper
Pins
Clamps
Scale and pencil

Procedure:
• A drawing board is taken and a white paper is fixed on it with help of clamps
• A straight line AB is drawn at the centre of the paper
• A normal line ON to AB at ‘O’ is also drawn
• A straight line PQ is drawn on the paper that makes certain angle ‘i’ with ON.
• At points P & Q on the paper, two pins are fixed vertically.
• A mirror strip is kept along the line AB
• By observing the images P1 of the pin P and Q1 of the pin Q, two more pins R and S
are fixed on the paper such that P1, Q1, R and S all lie on the same straight line.
• Now O, R and S are joined
• The angle made by the line RS with ON ‘r’ is measured.
• Here the angle of incidence ‘i’ and the angle of reflection ‘r’ are equal then I law of
reflection is verified.
• This experiment is repeated for different angles of incidence
• For every angle of incidence the corresponding angle of reflection is determined.
• It will be observed that at every angle of incidence,
i=r
Thus, I law of reflection is verified experimentally.

II Law of reflection :

The incident ray, the reflected ray and the normal at the point of incidence lie in the same
plane.
Material required
Drawing board
White paper
Pins
Clamps
Scale and pencil

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To find the plane of reflection:


• A drawing board is taken and a white paper is fixed on it with help of clamps
• A straight line AB is drawn at the centre of the paper
• A normal line ON to AB at ‘O’ is also drawn
• A straight line PQ is drawn on the paper that makes certain angle ‘i’ with ON.
• At points P & Q on the paper, two pins are fixed vertically.
• A mirror strip is kept along the line AB.
• By observing the images P1 of the pin P and Q1 of the pin Q, two more pins R
and S are fixed on the paper such that P1, Q1, R and S all lie on the same
straight line.
• Now O, R and S are joined
• In this experiment, the line PQ represents the incident ray, RS the reflected ray
and ON the Normal at the point of incidence ‘O’.
• Here PQ, RS & ON all the three lie in the plane of paper.
• For all vales of ‘I’, PQ, RS & On lies in the plane of paper.
• This plane in which the incident ray, reflected ray and the normal lie is called
plane of reflection.
Catapult : A ray of light is incident on a plane mirror
as shown in figure. Find the angle made by
o
the reflected ray with the mirror. 40

The angle of incidence is the angle between


the normal and the incident ray = 900 – 400 =
500.
o
∴ The angle of reflection = angle of incidence 50
o
= 500. 40
Now, the angle between reflected ray and
mirror
= 900 – angle of reflection = 400

Catapult : A plane mirror is inclined at 400 to the


floor. An incident ray parallel to the floor
strikes the mirror and a reflected ray is o
50
formed. What is the angle of reflection? o
Angle of incidence is the angle between the 40
o
normal and the incident ray 40
= 900 – 400 = 500. floor
∴ The angle of reflection = angle of
incidence = 500.

Types of Reflection :
• Regular or specular reflection

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• Irregular or diffuse reflection

Regular reflection :
In this case, parallel incident rays remain parallel even after reflection and go only in one
direction. It occurs from smooth surfaces like that of a plane mirror or highly polished metal
surfaces. Images are formed by regular reflection. For example, a plane mirror, a highly
polished metal surface, a still water surface of a pond, a polished wooden table are very
smooth and hence form images due to regular reflection of light.

The regular reflection of light from a smooth surface can be explained as follows:
All the particles of a smooth surface are facing in one direction. Due to this, the angle of
incidence for all the parallel rays of light falling on the smooth surface is the same and
hence the angle of reflection for all the reflected rays is also the same. Since angle of
incidence and the angle of reflection are equal, a beam of parallel rays of light falling on a
smooth surface is reflected as a beam of parallel light rays in one direction only.

Regular reflection

Diffuse reflection or irregular reflection :


In diffuse reflection, a parallel beam of incident light is reflected in different directions. It
takes place from rough surfaces like that of paper, cardboard etc. In this case, the parallel
incident rays do not remain parallel after reflection and are scattered in different directions.
Hence no image is formed in diffuse reflection.
The diffuse reflection of light from a rough surface can be explained as follows:
The particles of a rough surface are all facing in different directions. Due to this, the angles
of incidence for all the parallel rays of light falling on the rough surface are different and
hence angles of reflection for all the rays of light are also different. As the angles of
incidence and the angles of reflection are different, the parallel rays of light falling on a
rough surface go in different directions. But at every point of incidence, laws of reflection
are obeyed. Therefore diffuse reflection is caused due to the roughness or irregularities in
the reflecting surface.
Most of the objects around us are rough at least to some extent. So they cause diffuse
reflection. As they scatter light falling on them in all directions they are visible.

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Irregular reflection

Reflection of light on a Plane Surface :


When light falls on a smooth surface, a part of it gets reflected. Figure shows a ray of light
being reflected from a flat, smooth surface. The ray AO is incident on the surface at point
O and is reflected along OB. The line ON is the normal or perpendicular drawn to the
reflecting surface at the point of incidence ‘O’.

The angle AON that the incident ray makes with the normal is called the angle of incidence
and commonly denoted by i. And the angle BON that the reflected ray makes with the
normal is called the angle of reflection, commonly denoted by ‘r’. In figure, ∠AON = ∠BON
and the three lines AO, OB and ON are in the same plane perpendicular to the reflecting
surface.

Formation of image in a plane mirror (point


object) :

Consider a point object O placed in front of a plane


mirror MM 1 . The mirror will form an image I of the
object O. Let us see how this image is formed:

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When a number of light rays fall on the mirror, they are reflected as shown in the above fig.
The light ray OP incident normally is reflected back along the same path. For other
incident rays which fall obliquely, the reflected rays are divergent. If these divergent rays
are produced backwards (as shown by the dotted lines), they meet at point I behind the
mirror. If the divergent rays enter the eye of a person, he observes as if the rays are
coming from I behind the mirror which are actually not.

The image formed by a plane mirror can be seen only by looking into it. If a plane screen is
placed at I, no image would be formed on it because the light rays do not actually pass
though I, they only appear to do so. Hence the image formed by a plane mirror is a virtual
image.

Image of an extended object formed by a


plane mirror :

An extended object can be considered to be


made up of a very large number of point
objects. So, the image of an extended
object is the collection of image points
corresponding to the various points of the
object.
Similarly the light rays coming from your
face fall on the mirror and are reflected
back. The reflected rays reach your eye and
you can see your image. Observe, your
right hand is in the left position and the left
hand in the right position of the image.

Put letters like A, S, C and arrow mark (↑) before the mirror and observe the
images. It can be seen from the figure given below they are reversed
laterally i.e. left to right. But the arrow mark is not altered.
As these images can not be caught on a screen, the images formed by
plane mirror are called virtual images.

Characteristics of Image formed by a Plane mirror :


1. A plane mirror forms a virtual image. Such an image is not formed by the actual
intersection of light rays and cannot be formed on a screen.
2. The image formed by a plane mirror is erect – So, the image of a person formed by
a plane mirror has the head at the top and the feet at the bottom.
3. The image is formed as far behind the mirror as the object is in front of it.
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4. The size of the image formed by a plane mirror is equal to that of the object.
5. The image is laterally inverted – this means that in the image formed by a plane
mirror, the left and right sides are reversed.

Lateral inversion :
When an object is placed in front of a plane mirror, then the right side of the object
appears to become the left side of the image: and the left side of the object appears to
become the right side of the image. Such changes of sides of an object and its mirror
image are called lateral inversion. In other words, the image formed by a plane mirror is
sideways reversed with respect to the object.

The phenomenon of lateral inversion is due to reflection of light. The word AMBULANCE
on the hospital vans is written in the form of its mirror image . This is
because when we are driving a vehicle and see the hospital van coming from behind in our
rear-view mirror, then we will get the laterally inverted image of as
AMBULANCE. Since an ambulance carries seriously ill patients, we can make way for it to
pass through and reach the hospital quickly.

Uses of plane mirrors :


Plane mirrors are used
• to see ourselves

• As mirrors on our dressing tables, in jewellery shops etc.

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• at blind turns of some busy roads so that drivers can see the vehicles coming from
the other side and prevent accidents

• in making periscopes and kaleidoscopes.

• in solar cookers

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Images formed by inclined mirrors :


When two plane mirrors are kept facing each other at an angle θ and an object is placed
between them, multiple images of the object are formed as a result of successive
reflection. The number of images, n, is given by,

Object Object
θ/2 α
β
θ/2
(A) Object is (B) Object is
placed placed
symmetrically asymmetrically

 360  360
=n  − 1 n=
 θ  θ

360 360
• If is even integer then no. of images formed is n = – 1 for all positions of
θ θ
the object. (if θ = 100°, m = 3.6, number of images = 3)
360
• If is odd integer there are two possibilities
θ
360
(i) If the object lies symmetrically, then no of images formed n = -1
θ
360
(ii) If the object lies asymmetrically, then no of images formed n = .
θ
Note:
If two plane mirrors are placed parallel to each other, then infinite images will be formed.
But in practice, only a limited number of images are seen because light is lost at each
reflection.

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Catapult : Two men are standing in front of a 2m 12m


plane mirror as shown when man A A B
looks into the mirror, how far away
from him will man B seen to be?

The image seen through a plane mirror must be as for away inside the mirror
as the object is outside the mirror. The image in the mirror is as shown
below.
16m
12m 2m 2m 12m
B' A' A B

∴ From figure it is clear that the distance of image of B.


from A is equal to 14 m + 12 m = 16 m.

Catapult : A man looked into a plane mirror and


saw the clock as shown alongside. What
was the time then?

Since the image in plane mirror is laterally


inverted, the original object (clock) is as
shown below.
∴ The time at this instant is 6:40.
It consists of a wooden or a cardboard bent twice at
right angles. The inner sides of the tube is
blackened to prevent reflection. Two plane mirrors
are placed at the bent portion of the tube. The
mirrors are placed such that the light rays are
incident at an angle of 45o. The light rays are
incident on the plane mirror in the upper tube and
the reflected rays from this mirror are incident on
the second mirror at the same angle of incidence.
Thus the light rays undergo reflection for a second
time at an angle of 45o, and emerge from the lower
tube, where the image of the object is viewed.

Uses:
1. It is used by soldiers to view the enemy movements during wars.
2. It is used in submarines to see objects above the water surface.

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Disadvantages of reflecting periscope :


1. The final image is not brightly illuminated as light energy is absorbed due to two
successive reflections.

2. Any deposition of moisture or dust on the mirror reduces the reflection almost to nill,
and hence, the periscope cannot be used in places where there is a lot of dust or
moisture

Reflection at curved Surfaces :


When a parallel beam of light rays falls on a plane mirror, it is reflected as a parallel beam.
So, a plane mirrors changes only the direction of incident light rays, it doesn’t converge or
diverge the parallel rays of light which fall on them.

Images can be formed by the reflection of light from smooth, curved surfaces like
doorknobs, taps, utensils etc. Hold a large, shiny spoon in front of your face. In spoons,
one curved surface is hollow while the other bulges out. Depending on which surface of
the spoon you are looking at, you will see different kinds of images of your face.
The images formed by the two surfaces of the spoon are similar to those formed by curved
mirrors. We shall now learn about some types of curved mirrors.

Spherical mirrors :
Spherical mirrors are special types of curved mirrors in which the surface of the mirror is a
part of a hollow sphere. The rear view mirrors in cars, scooters, etc. are spherical mirrors.
It has two dissimilar surfaces. The hallow surface (inner surface) that is on the same side
as the centre of the original sphere is called the concave surface. The other surface, which
bulges out, is called the convex surface.
If the convex surface is polished and the concave surface is silvered, we get a convex
mirror. And if the concave surface is polished and the convex surface is silvered, we get a
concave mirror.

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Spherical Mirror Terms :

Pole: The central point on the surface of the mirror is called its pole.

Centre of curvature and radius of curvature :


The centre of the sphere of which the spherical mirror is a part is called the centre of
curvature. The radius of this sphere is called the radius of curvature of the mirror.

Principal Axis :
An imaginary line passing through the pole and the centre of curvature of a spherical
mirror is called its principal axis.

Aperture :
The circular area that determines the amount of light falling on a mirror is its aperture.

Focus and Focal Length :


The point on the principal axis where rays incident parallel to the principal axis converge to
or appear to diverge from after reflection is called the focus of the spherical mirror. The
distance of the focus from the pole is called the focal length of the spherical mirror.

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The focal length (f) and the radius of curvature (R) of a spherical mirror of small aperture
R
are related as f =
2

Catapult : A convex mirror is made by cutting a portion of a hollow glass sphere


of radius 24 cm. Find the focal length of the mirror.
Solution: The radius of curvature of the mirror (R) = 24 cm
R 24
∴ The focal length of the mirror (f) = = = 12 cm.
2 2

Formation of image by a Concave Mirror :


M

W
W
f
Take a concave mirror M and fix it on a V shaped wooden stand ‘S’ as shown in figure
above. Turn the wooden stand placed on a table towards an object like a tree at a very
large distance. Introduce a white screen as shown in figure above and adjust its position
until a bright clear image is formed on it. A parallel beam of light rays coming from the
distance object after reflection on the mirror meet at focus.
Characteristics of Image :
1. Size of image is less than the size of object.
2. As the image is caught on screen, it is real image.
3. It is an inverted image.

Rules for drawing geometric images for spherical mirrors :


(1) A ray of light, travelling parallel to
the principal axis, after reflection
either actually pass through principal
focus or appears to pass through
principal focus.

(a) (b)

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(2) A ray of light which first passes


through principal focus or appears to
travel along principal focus, after
reflection, will travel parallel to
principal axis.

(a) (b)
(3) Any ray of light which first passes
through centre of curvature or
appears to travel along centre of
curvature, after reflection, travels back
along the initial path.

(a) (b)

(4) An incident ray which strikes the mirror at its pole P is reflected such that its angle of
incidence with respect to the principal axis is equal to its angle of reflection.

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Images formed by a concave mirror for different positions of object :


Position of the object Ray diagram Nature of the image
a. For an object AB is at • At the focus
infinity, (the rays coming • Real and inverted
are parallel to the • Highly diminished
principal axis).

b. When the object AB is • Between the focus and the


placed in between infinity centre of curvature
and the centre of the • Real and inverted
curvature. • Diminished

c. When an object is placed • At the centre of curvature


at the centre of curvature • Real and inverted
• same size of the object

d. When an object is placed • Beyond the centre of


in between centre of curvature
curvature and principal • Real and inverted
focus • Magnified

e. When an object is placed • at infinity


at principal focus. • real and inverted
• highly magnified

f. When an object is placed • Behind the mirror


in between pole and • Virtual and erect
principal focus • Magnified

Concave mirror as make up mirror (when object is placed between focus and pole) :

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Concave mirrors used in solar cookers :

Concave mirrors used in vehicle head lights :

Concave mirror in telescopes :

Images formed by a Convex Mirror :

In a convex mirror, the image is always formed behind the mirror, between the pole and
the focus. The image is always virtual, erect and smaller than the object. As the object

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moves away from the mirror, its image moves towards the focus. And when the object is at
infinity, the image is formed at the focus.

a. When an object is placed in between infinity and the


pole of the convex mirror, a virtual, erect and
diminished image is formed in between the focus
and the pole of the mirror.

b. When an object is placed at infinity, the rays coming


from an object are parallel to principal axis. After
reflection, they appear to diverge from focus. Hence
a virtual and point sized image is formed at focus.

Uses of Convex Mirrors :


• As rear view mirrors in vehicles
Convex mirror is used as a rear view mirror in vehicles
because of two reasons
It always produces an erect image of the object.

It forms a highly diminished image of the object


because of which it gives a wide field of view of the
traffic behind. If a plane mirror is used as a rear view
mirror in the place of convex mirror it gives a narrow
field of view. That is the reason why convex mirrors are
called driving mirrors or side-view mirrors or wing
mirrors.

As shop security mirrors :

Sign Convention :

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In image tracing, we come across various distances along (or) perpendicular the principal
axis like the object distance (u) the image distance (v), the focal length (f) the radius of
curvature (R) size of image (h i ) and size of object (h 0 ). A system of signs for these
quantities becomes necessary to obtain relation between them. By Cartesian sign
convention,

1. All the distances along the principal axis (u, v, f and r) are measured from the pole
of the mirror.
2. The distances measured in the direction of incident ray are to be taken positive and
those measured in the opposite direction of incident light are taken negative.
3. Heights of the objects and images measured above the principal axis are positive
and those measured below the principal axis are negative.

Mirror formula :
A formula which gives the relationship between the image distance (v), object
distance(u),and the focal length (f) of a spherical mirror is known as mirror formula.
u
Relation between u, v and f for a spherical mirror
A O
The figure given above shows the formation of a real image
by a concave mirror when object is placed on the principal B'
N P
axis at a point beyond the centre of curvature C of the B C F

mirror. Tracing of image is done as per rules for the A'


formation of image by a mirror. v

Let AB be the object


A ' B' be the image formed.
From similar triangles ABP and A ' B' P
AB PB
= ………….. (1)
A 'B' PB'
similarly from triangles A ' B' F and ONF.
ON NF
= ………….. (2)
A 'B' FB'
since AB = ON
from (1) and (2) we get,
PB NF
= ………….. (3)
PB' FB'
As aperture of the mirror is small, points N and P will be quite close to each other i.e. NF =
PF, then (3) becomes,
PB PF
= ………….. (4)
PB' FB'
Using sign conventions, we can write PB = – u
PF = – f
PB' = v
now equation (4) becomes,

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−u −f
=
−v f − v
u f
⇒ =
v v−f
v−f v
⇒ =
f u
v v
⇒ −1=
f u
v v
⇒ = +1
f u
1 1 1
⇒ = +
f u v

Linear magnification produced by mirrors :


The size of an image formed by a plane mirror is the same as that of the object. This is not
always the case with spherical mirrors. A convex mirror forms an image that is smaller
than the object. You might have noticed this in the rear view mirrors of vehicles. The size
of the image formed by a concave mirror can be smaller than, equal to or larger than the
size of the object, depending on where the object is placed in front of the mirror.
h
Let h 0 and h i denote the object – height and the image – height respectively. The ratio i
h0
is called magnification and it is denoted by m. It turns out that
hi −v
= =
m
h0 u
Lateral magnification: When an object is placed perpendicular to the principle axis, then
linear magnification is called lateral or transverse magnification.
I v f f −v
m= = − = =
O u f −u f
(* Always use sign convention while solving the problems)

Axial magnification: When object lies along the principle axis then its axial magnification
I −(v 2 − v1 )
= =
m
O (u2 − u1 )
2 2 2
dv  v   f  f −v
If object is small; m =
− =
=  =   
du  u   f −u  f 

Areal magnification: If a 2D-object is placed with it's plane perpendicular to principle axis.
It's Areal magnification
Area of image(A i ) A
ms = ⇒ ms =m2 = i
Area of object (A o ) Ao

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Catapult : An object is placed at a distance of 30 cm from a concave mirror of


focal length 20 cm. Find the position of the image.
u = – 30 cm 30 cm
O
f = – 20 cm
1 1 1
we have = + P
f v u B F
1 1 1
= −
v f u 60 cm

−1  1 
= −
20  30 
1 1
= −
30 20
2 − 3 −1
= =
60 60
∴ v = – 60 cm.
So, the image will be formed 60 cm from the mirror. Since v has a negative
sign, the image is formed to the left of the mirror i.e., in front of it.

Catapult : An object is placed at a distance of 20 cm from a convex mirror of focal


length 25 cm. Calculate the position of the image. Discuss its nature.
u = – 20 cm
f = 25 cm
1 1 1
we have = +
f v u
1 1 1 1  1  9
or = − = − = cm
v f u 25  −20  100
100
∴ v= cm
9
The positive sign of v shows that the image is formed on the right. i.e., behind
the mirror. The image is virtual.
v
m= −
u
 11 
=
− =0.55
 −20 
Since the magnification and hence the height of the image is positive, the
image is erect.

Catapult : A 2 cm high object is placed perpendicular to the principal axis of a


concave mirror. The distance of the object from the mirror is 30 cm and
its image is formed 60 cm from the mirror on the same side of the mirror
as the object. Find the height of the image formed.

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we have u = – 30 cm
v = – 60 cm
thus

h v −60 cm
m =i =− = − = −2
h0 u −30 cm
⇒ hi = −2h0
= – 2 x 2 = – 4 cm.

Uses of spherical Mirrors :


1. Convex mirrors are widely used as rear – view mirrors in cars, scooters,
motorcycles, etc. It produces an erect image that is smaller in size than the object.
Therefore, a wide view of the traffic behind the vehicle can be seen in a smaller
mirror.
2. A concave mirror can produce an erect, enlarged image behind the mirror. A
concave mirror is therefore, used when you want to see a magnified image of the
object. One such use is for shaving, where a magnified view of the face helps to get
a smooth shave.
3. Dentist uses a concave mirror to examine teeth. The large image produced by the
mirror helps then in detecting problems.
4. Concave mirrors are also used by doctors to focus light on certain parts of the body
such as the inside the ear, inside of mouth etc.
5. Large concave mirrors can be used to concentrate sunlight to produce heat in some
types of solar heating devices.

Some important conclusions regarding reflection of light :


• Laws of reflection are valid for all reflecting surfaces.

• If a light ray is incident normally on a reflecting surface, after reflection it retraces its
path.
i.e., if i =0 then r =0

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• In the case of reflection of light, frequency, wavelength and speed doesn’t change. But
the intensity of light on reflection will decrease.

Deviation of a Ray on Reflection :

i r

(1) Deviation (δ) : Deviation produced by a plane mirror and by two inclined plane mirrors.

δ
i r
δ θ

δ = (180 – 2i) δ = (360 – 2θ)


(A) Single Reflection (B) Double Reflection
Fig. 29.3

The angle between the direction of incident ray and reflected ray is called the angle of
deviation ( δ).
A plane mirror deviates the plane mirror through an angle δ = 180 – 2i
The deviation is maximum for normal incidence
δ

1800

900 i

(Note: Anti clockwise deviation is taken positive and clockwise deviation negative )
Effect of rotation of mirror on reflected ray :
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Let us consider a plane mirror initially oriented along MM AS shown in fig. When a light ray
is incident normally, the reflected ray retraces its path.
Here I = r = 0
When the mirror is reflected through an angle θ and is oriented along M-M then i =θ

θ
θ

Normal

⇒r=θ
Hence the reflected ray has actually rotated through an angle 2θ
• A plane mirror always forms virtual image to a real object and the line joining the
object and the image is perpendicular to the plane mirror.
• The graph between image distance(v) and object distance(u) for a plane mirror is a
straight line.
• Large mirrors give more bright image than a small one. Actually the size of the
reflector must be larger than the wavelength of the incident light otherwise the light
will be scattered in all directions.
• If the object moves towards(or away) from a plane mirror at speed ‘v’ , the image
will also approach(or recede) the mirror at the same speed ‘v’ .Hence the relative
velocity of image with respect object will be 2v.
• If the mirror is moved towards(or away) from a stationary object with speed v, the
image will also move towards the object with a speed 2v.
• A person of height ‘h’ can see his full image in a mirror of minimum length l=h/2
• A person standing at the centre of the room looking towards a plane mirror hung on
the wall can see the whole height of the wall behind him if the length of the mirror is
equal to one-third the height of the wall.
• If an object is placed between two parallel mirrors, then the number of images
formed is infinite, but of decreasing intensity.

• After reflection velocity, wavelength and frequency of light remains same but
intensity decreases.

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• If light ray incident normally on a surface, after reflection it retraces the path.

C C

• If two plane mirrors are inclined to each other at 90o, the emergent ray is anti-
parallel to incident ray, if it suffers one reflection from each. Whatever be the
angle to incidence.

• We observe number of images in a thick plane mirror, out of them only second
is brightest.
Incident light
(100%)
10%

80% Brightest image

9%

0.9%

• To find the location of an object from an inclined plane mirror, you have to see
the perpendicular distance of the object from the mirror.
I

O I
M M

Correct Wrong
O OM = MI
OM = MI

• Images formed by mirrors do not show chromatic aberration.


• In concave mirror, minimum distance between a real object and it's real image
is zero. (i.e. when u = v = 2f)
• If a spherical mirror produces an image ‘m’ times the size of the object
(m = magnification) then u, v and f are given by the followings
 m − 1  m 
u=
 m f, v =
− (m − 1) f and f =
 m − 1 u
   
• Focal length of a mirror is independent of material of mirror and medium in
which it is placed and wavelength of incident light

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• Divergence or Convergence power of a mirror does not change with the


change in medium.

• If an object is moving at a speed v o towards a spherical mirror along it’s axis


then speed of image away from mirror is
2
 f 
vi = −   .v o
u −f 
• When object is moved from focus to infinity at constant speed, the image will
move faster in the beginning till object moves from f to 2f, and slower later on,
towards the mirror.
• As every part of mirror forms a complete image, if a part of the mirror is
obstructed, full image will be formed but intensity will be reduced.

O
C P

F

• Since an object is usually placed to the left side of a spherical mirror, object
distance is always negative.
• In the case of a concave mirror image distance can be positive or negative.
• For a convex mirror image distance is always positive.
• Focal length of a concave mirror is considered negative.
• Focal length of a convex mirror is considered positive.
• Height of all virtual and erect images is considered positive.
• Height of all real and inverted images is considered negative.
• If the magnification due to a spherical mirror has a plus sign, then the image is
virtual and erect.
• If the magnification due to a spherical mirror has a minus sign, then the image is
real and inverted.
• Since a concave mirror can form virtual as well as real images, the magnification
produced by a concave mirror can be either positive or negative.
• Since a concave mirror can form virtual images only, the magnification produced by
a convex mirror is always positive.
• Magnification produced by a concave mirror can be less than 1, equal to 1 or
greater than 1.
• Magnification produced by a convex mirror will always be less than 1.

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Useful signs
Concave mirror
Virtual image (u< Convex mirror
Real image (u ≥ f)
f)
Distance of object u → – u →– u → –
Distance of image v → – v →+ v → +
Focal length f → – f →– f → +
Height of object O →+ O→+ O→ +
Height of image I → – I →+ I → +
Radius of curvature R → – R→– R→ +
Magnification m → – m→+ m→ +
State differences between convex and concave mirrors:
Concave mirror Convex mirror
A mirror which is polished from the bulging A mirror which is polished from the hollow
side of a hollow sphere, such that the side of a sphere such that reflecting surface
reflecting side is towards its hollow side is is towards its bulging side is called convex
called concave mirror concave surface. mirror

A ray of light traveling parallel to the A ray of light traveling parallel to principal
principal axis of a concave mirror, after axis of a convex mirror, after reflection
reflection passes through the principal focus appears to diverge from the principal focus
of the mirror. of the mirror.
It acts as a converging mirror. It acts as a diverging mirror.
Used as (i) dentists mirror Used as a rear view mirror and as a
(ii) in vehicle head lights security mirror in shopping malls.
(iii) doctor’s head mirrors
(iv) in TV dish antennas
Can from diminished or magnified image Always forms diminished image.
also some times size of the image is equal
to that of object.
Magnification by a concave mirror can be Magnification by a convex mirror is always
either positive or negative. positive.
Magnification by concave mirror can be <1, Magnification by a convex mirror is always
>1 or = 1. < 1.
Focal length is negative. Focal length is positive.

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